Dec 12, 2013

Holiday Crafternoon

Every Wednesday is Schools Out Boredom Busters (SOBB)! The first Wednesday is an early release day for the district, so I show a movie with snacks to tide the kids over until their parents come to get them.

The second Wednesday of each month is Crafternoon! I set up 4-5 stations of activities for the kids to do at their own pace. Usually there is one uber-popular station and three other whip through them stations (kids choice not mine). This month was dedicated to the holidays and our stations were:

1. Gingerbread sugar cone trees. We did this last year, they LOVED it, so I brought it back and they LOVED it again this year.
2. Dangly spiral silver ornaments. Silver pipe-cleaners and beads wrapped around a toddler paint brush. The girls liked this one (not so much the boys).

3. Tree shape outlines out of construction paper + contact paper + small pieces of tissue paper = stained glass holiday trees! This did not go as planned, kids just took handfuls of tissue paper and dropped it onto their contact paper. My plan was to have them placed nicely one at a time. . . we had an entire hour to kill!

4. Paper chains with old book pages. A few adults were upset by the destruction of the books, but we used donations that we found to be worth less tha $5 on Amazon- no rare books were destroyed in the creation of these chains. Paper chains are always hit or miss with the kids. I've offered them at several other programs and NOT ONE CHILD has participated. Today, who knows. . .they wanted to break the world record (54 miles in 24 hours!) In one hour they managed to chain more than halfway around the library! 

They asked if they could chain again next week. The third Wednesday of the month is four player Wii gaming day. I always have extra games & coloring sheets set out for them to work on while they are not participating in the Wii play so I think I might just have to cut some more paper.

Dec 6, 2013

The Holidays Threw Up in Our Library

I got the idea for this display on pinterest.
I put up a fleece tree in the children's area for my Early Literacy activity of the month (along with paper ornaments to color and take home).
The kids have the opportunity to add to the tree on our calendar, it is slowly getting more full each day.
I'm pretty sure I saw two or three different pins with this slogan, so I just added my own twist with the wrapped book cart.
What will be under your tree?
Goodreads just finished their reader poll for the Best Books of 2013 so I wrapped our circulation desk in gift wrap and printed out the top two covers for each category. 
The gingerbread house roof is back on the loft and it had a visitor! 
Under the miSTEEL toe with Danielle Steel books.
I helped out with a display in the adult area as well this month.

Dec 4, 2013

Elf on the >BOOK< Shelf

I read on a listserve about Utica Library's Elf on a Book Shelf and HAD to do it at our library! Oh what fun for me the kiddos! We used some donation money to buy our own elf, and an elf & DVD to give away. We've already had people come in JUST to find Dobby (our BookShelf Elf).
We have a small display on the circulation desk.
 We are having the kids (under 13) come and tell us where they find Dobby, and they get a raffle ticket to write where they found her, and their names and phone numbers. Our contest is running December 2nd through the 21st, so we will be able to give the lucky winner their elf and book before the holidays are over.
Grand appearance on top of a book shelf.

Climbing on top of the gingerbread house.

Reading some Potter quietly in the corner.

Nov 26, 2013

Gobble, Gobble

For Thanksgiving, I like to focus on Turkeys and Thankfulness. I did three different Turkey storytimes the past two weeks. One was a preschool outreach visit, one a library preschool storytime and the third was at a school age storytime that I am trying to get going (sLOW numbers).
The book set list was different for each group (at least 3 of the 4). At the outreach storytime I read four books (these kids are GREAT listeners and have really long attention spans): Turkey Trouble by Wendi Silvano, I'm a Turkey by Jim Arnosky, 'Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving by Dav Pilkey (my fave) and Run, Turkey, Run! by Diane Mayr. At the preschool storytime I took out 'Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving, and at the school age storytime I took out Run, Turkey Run.

We sang songs at both preschool storytime sessions. I found a great song on Perpetual Preschool and made up a quick flannel board.
Turkey's wearing his red feather, red feather, red feather.
Turkey's wearing his red feather on Thanksgiving Day.
I just added a new feather for each verse, ending with Turkey's wearing his rainbow feathers. . .
How could I have forgotten about Mama Turkey Bird? I was in the middle of reading a book at the outreach program when this song I sang years ago with my two-year-olds at daycare popped into my head. I have NO IDEA where I got it from (sounds suspiciously like Dr. Jean's Mama Goonie Bird). . .

Mama turkey bird had many chicks, many chicks had mama turkey bird.
They couldn't walk, and they couldn't talk, but they could go like this. Right wing (make a wing and flap your left arm, the kids will flap their right arms).
Then at each verse add left wing, right foot (stomp foot), left foot, up & down (bend knees), turn around. End with sit down.

We also talked about how turkeys are birds like chickens and lay eggs, so we could use shaker eggs to Laurie Berkner Band's I Know a Chicken.

The craft was a simple: glue a turkey shape, feather, and googily eyes to a paper then use markers to add the other details kids wanted.

The school age kids made snack turkeys out of a few different ideas I saw on Pinterest. I wanted to combine the junk food turkeys with the candy turkeys and came up with: an Anjou pear body, pretzels coated in chocolate frosting and M&Ms for the feathers, cheese for beak and feet, and Cheerios for eyes. They turned out pretty good and the kids, although nervous about the reddish pears really enjoyed their entire turkeys!

Nov 22, 2013

One Day in Space

The sound of the day today was "SP" at the beginning of words so of course we had to do Space (all the spaghetti books were checked out).

The first book, The Astronaut Handbook by Meghan McCarthy went over pretty well and it set us up perfectly for Laurie Berkner Band's Rocket Ship Run, which is always a huge hit. Crouch down at the 5,4,3,2,1 and Blast Off! launch your entire body into space!

There's No Place Like Space was not as big of a hit (loved the rhyming though), too many non-fictionals in a row I guess. By the end I was dropping every other paragraph. I probably should have done Joey and Jet in Space here instead.

I don't often use long made up songs for the themes as the kids don't know the words, but the one I found on Preschool Education.Com worked splendidly! Of course we did the blast off motion again.

We're Flying to the Moon  Sung to: "The Farmer in the Dell"             
We're flying to the moon, we're flying to the moon.
Blast off, away we go, we're flying to the moon.
Other verses:
We're flying in a spacecraft. . . Blast off, away we go, we're flying to the moon.
We're walking out in space
We're landing on the moon
We're flying back to Earth
We're landing on the Earth

Joey and Jet in Space by James Yang was short and sweet, then we did a few verses of Twinkle, Twinkle. I passed out some left over SRP erasers and we held them in the air as we sang in a tiny voice, low voice, alien voice, quiet, and loud voice.

The Three Little Big Aliens and the Big Bad Robot by Margaret McNamara is rather long, but kids feel pretty proud when they notice the similarity to The Three Little Pigs, and they all think the third aliens name is just a hoot.

Our craft was pretty simple: paint with white paint on a dark paper and SPrinkle SParkling SPace dust to finish it off.

Nov 18, 2013

November Displays

 Our Thanksgiving books were getting checked out before November even started, so I didn't even put up a Thanksgiving display for the picture books. Parents are finding them much easier with our picture book reorganization!
The kids are helping me out with the calendar this month.
Add some eyes, a beak and a waddle to a brown paper peanut shape and you get a turkey! The feathers are being added as kids come to the library and write/draw what they are thankful for.
The sixth grade classes at the public school are reading historical fiction this month.
A clock on a vortex with some book covers in lieu of numbers on one poster, wings with historical fiction on them on another and I have this display. There are also some flying clocks, double sided of course!

Nov 8, 2013


I have been working with our local school district this year in a partnership type of relationship with some of the early childhood teachers. The early childhood speech and special education teachers come to our preschool storytime with their students and their parents. I start the day off by introducing what we will be reading about, then one of the speech and special education teacher talks about the sound of the day that we will be emphasizing with the children and how they can work on that sound with their children at home. This is a great partnership because kids that aren't eligible for this particular service the district provides (but could still use the help), still get to work on the emphasis of the sound of the day and their parents hear about the sounds and how to practice them at home. Also kids who might never come to the library or get social interaction in group settings are having these needs fulfilled by coming to our combo storytime. This particular storytime we talked about the "ts" at the end of words, so of course we had to do peTS.

The first book was A Pet for Petunia by Paul Schmid and Petunia "wanTS, wanTS, wanTS" a pet skunk.
I started off by showing the kids that PETunia has the word Pet in it. . .We had fun with this one, the kids were a little confused that the skunk Petunia was carrying around was a stuffed toy, but I tried to point that out early on so they would understand what happens when she meeTS a REAL skunk.

I had borrowed some bean bags from our library federation and used them with Greg & Steve's Bean Bag Boogie. There were enough for all of the kids and most of the adulTS, so we were able to have some goofy fun balancing the bean bags.

Pet Show by Ezra Jack KeaTS was our next story, the kids were a little wiggly during this one. Dancing seems to wind them up instead of calm them down! It has a great message and has multi-cultural images in it which are great for the kids in our area to see.

We sang Ears, Whiskers, Tail & Paws to the tune of Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes that I found from The Perry Public Library  The kids had a lot of fun with this one, we sang it twice.

I read "My Neighbor's Dog is Purple" from Jack Prelutsky's Something BIG Has Been Here. I used a flash card with the picture of a dog and the word dog for the kids to recite along with me in a Rebus type activity. They were surprised at the end when I showed the picture of a purple alligator crocodile instead of a dog!.

We sang BINGO with flannel props of letters and black doTS. We clapped and jumped for the black doTS as they replaced the letters.

We finished off with The Best Pet Ever by Victoria RoberTS. Then the kids drew pictures of a pet they would love, love, love to have. We had playgroup time to finish off the morning in which we sorted peTS and used different food to feed different animal depending on what each animal eaTS.

I've started handing out parent hand ouTS again as part of our Growing Wisconsin Readers and 1000 Books programs. I handed them out in the middle of storytime before we sang Ears, Whiskers, Tail & Paws so no one could really say no. In the past I've had a lot of trouble getting parenTS to take them, but not one was left behind this week! On the front I put ways to incorporate the ECRR2s Five Literacy Practices about the theme of the week at home into activities at home and a few of the songs. On the back is some brief information about the sound we talked about and ways to work on it at home.

Oct 31, 2013

Who Better than a Librarian

Image via Henriksent on Flickr Creative Commons
I've been thinking about using apps in storytime a lot. I've been on the fence for awhile. I've been reading the arguments on the list serves, and blog articles online. I was not sure why I was reluctant to join this new library storytime movement, but it made me uncomfortable.

Last week I went to a Growing Wisconsin Readers workshop and the presenter, Gayle Tylka (Early Childhood Response to Intervention Statewide Coordinator and Early Literacy Instructor at Viterbo University), gave me an aha moment. I can't quote directly because the aha did not happen until after she was done with her presentation, but to paraphrase. . .  you as librarians are modeling for young children and families. Your goal is to build a desire in children to want to learn to read.

I am choosing to not use apps and screen time in my storytime sessions. Here is why:

1. American Association of Pediatrics: "Television and other entertainment media should be avoided for infants and children under age 2. A child's brain develops rapidly during these first years, and young children learn best by interacting with people, not screens." 

I strongly agree with this statement. There is a time and place for everything and if we are modelling best practices, then we as librarians should not be including screen time in our toddler storytime sessions at all, period. I live with a medical professional, and I hear his complaints about how people don't listen to doctors and disregard their advice when it conflicts with what they WANT to hear, rather than what they actually hear. Jessica Simpson (cough, cough).

Here is a disturbing statistic for you (also from the AAP): 
Today's children are spending an average of seven hours a day on entertainment media, including televisions, computers, phones and other electronic devices. It does go on to say: Children and teens should engage with entertainment media for no more than one or two hours per day, and that should be high-quality content. This part of the statement seems to be where most people who do use apps in storytime get their arguments for their choice. I agree, that as librarians we should be recommending the best web sites and apps, but most people using the apps are tech savvy enough to figure out how to use them for themselves. A list would probably suffice.

AAP Press Release Statement from 2011:
"Parents who watch TV or videos with their child may add to the child’s understanding, but children learn more from live presentations than from televised ones. 

The report recommends that parents and caregivers: 

Set media limits for their children before age 2, bearing in mind that the AAP discourages media use for this age group. Have a strategy for managing electronic media if they choose to engage their children with it; 

  • Instead of screens, opt for supervised independent play for infants and young children during times that a parent cannot sit down and actively engage in play with the child. For example, have the child play with nesting cups on the floor nearby while a parent prepares dinner; 
  • Avoid placing a television set in the child’s bedroom; and 
  • Recognize that their own media use can have a negative effect on children."

The last bullet, really hits the nail on the head. If parents see librarians using apps with children, they are definitely going to think it is okay to be using apps with their children when they are not at the library. 


No really, you can. 

This is my own personal argument, which probably has all of you millennials rolling your eyes at me! I am disturbed by the number of kids and adults at restaurants on devices, in waiting rooms at the doctor's office, or at the grocery store in a cart, I can go on and on. At some point someone has to step up and say, Whoa! You can have fun without an electronic device! Who better, I ask, than a librarian? 

I know that librarians out there rock storytime with their songs, stories, flannel props, puppets and more. I've seen many of them in action.

What librarians do in their storytimes is individual to each librarian, so I am not saying those who use them are WRONG, because hey, if they feel using apps enhances their storytime and helps them get excited about sharing early literacy with families, that's great. I, on the other hand, will be enjoying my screen free storytimes.

Oct 28, 2013

Picture Books: Six Months In

I was really freakin' nervous honored and privileged to present a session about our library's picture book reorganization project at the Wisconsin Library Association's Annual Conference! Now that some of the results are in, I can let the whole world know how it is going!
Comments from REAL patrons!
The increase in circulation numbers is awesome, but I had to take into account that everything in the children's collection is up as well. The difference between the two: 25%.

 I will let the numbers speak for themselves!

Oct 14, 2013

Pizza Pizzazz

The first book I read was Curious George and the Pizza Party by Cynthia Platt, it was a little long and wordy for the kids, but they made it through. Then we sang and danced to Charlotte Diamond's I am a Pizza. The Italian verse sure threw us for a loop, but the repetition made it an easy song to do with the kids. 

The second book was Hi, Pizza Man by Virginia Walter. The kids really got into saying hi to the next character behind the door, and it was a definite pick me up after Curious George. I found this song at Perpetual Preschool and took pictures of the characters from Hi, Pizza Man to print out and show to the kids as we sang each verse.

Do you know the pizza man, the pizza man, the pizza man?
Do you know the pizza man, who brings it fresh and hot?

I had the kids sub pizza man with pizza woman, cat, dog, duck, cow, snake and dinosaur from the book depending on which picture I held up.
We team read Jack Prelutsky's A Pizza the Size of the Sun from the same titled book. I held up a pizza shape and the kids and adults shouted out "Pizza!" I finished off with The Little Red Hen Makes a Pizza retold by Philemon Sturges, the Hen shared a little more nicely in this version. The "Not I's" really helped the kids interact with the story.

Our craft today was painting a paper plate with "pizza sauce" (red paint as I don't like to waste a lot of food with art projects) and adding the toppings. I used the paper shredder to make mozzarella out of 1.5 inch paper strips.

Oct 7, 2013

Those are MY Jeans!

By far one of the easiest displays I've ever done. This was up in September with all of our diary-esque juvenile fiction books. I printed out a big poster that read Dear Diary and printed out the pencil on a different paper and made it pop off the page with a piece of crunched up masking tape under the eraser.

These books will SCARE your pants off!
 My daughter was NOT amused when she came into the library after school and saw her jeans on top of the library shelves! We've had a lot of comments on this display already!

Oct 4, 2013

Go Dogs, Go!

The question of the day was, "Do you have a dog?" More kids had dogs than did not have a dog.

We sang our welcome song, and I asked the kids if they knew what we were going to be reading about. I always have the books standing up on a table for the kids to see as they walk in the door. "Dogs!"

First up for storytime was Oh No, George! Chris Haughton. Poor George tries to be good, the kids were so so with this one. Thank goodness I'm super over dramatic to hold their attention. There was a lot of opportunity with this one to ask the kids what choice they think George will make.

Then we danced to Jim Gill's Tempo Marches On to get some of our wiggles out, this is a younger group of threes and there are a lot of boys (just sayin').

I read My Dog He is an Ugly Dog from Jack Prelutsky's New Kid on the Block. I printed off a dog picture and every time I read the word dog, I held up the picture of the dog and the kids got to say it for me. I hesitated at the word "stupid" but luckily no kids told me I said a "bad word"!

Bark, George Jules Feiffer The kids liked the silliness of this story with the different animal noises. I read another good crowd participation story, Rrralph Lois Ehlert which got giggles from the parents, and the kids liked to say the different dog sounds. We did a little Jumping and Counting-by Jim Gill (I must have been in the mood for some Jim Gill that day).

We finished with Dog's Colorful Day by Emma Dodd. The project at the end was using bingo dotters on Dog to give him more spots!

Sep 30, 2013

Alphabet Madness

I used this line up for my preschool storytime and a Head Start Parent Training Session.

The Letters Are Lost Lisa Campbell Ernst, which is kind of a boring book, but I used it for a lot of audience participation and I could point out some of the beginning sounds to the kids. We sang and jumped to There's a Dog in School by Bill Wellington, it is always a hit with the kids. I like to use it because there were a lot of different animals in The Letters are Lost, and hey animals singing the alphabet is super weird and fun. As we sing, or bark, or neigh the alphabet, I have the kids jump with each letter to get them moving a little.

Then we read Chicka Chicka Boom Boom! by Bill Martin Jr. I put flannel letters up on the flannel board while we very slowly sang the alphabet. Then we sang it in a big daddy voice, a teeny tiny baby voice, and the grand finale was singing in a fish voice (rub forefinger up and down over your lips as you sing). Kids love it! At the Head Start visit one of the teachers had the parents participate in this verse, it was awesome!

I heard about adding poetry to storytimes in a poetry presentation by Jenna Gilles, a co-worker in our library system. Since then I've done a couple and am trying to add them more frequently. At the Head Start visit I added the poem My Snake from Something BIG Has Been Here by Jack Prelutsky. I had a string snake and gave each of the kids a string snake and talked about letter play to the parents. We made a few of the letters in the poem with the string snake. We only read one verse of the poem because the kiddos were super tiny 3's and weren't interested, I used it as a teachable moment for the parents about moving on when their kids aren't interested in listening.

So, we moved on to Z is for Moose by Kelly Bingham. I LOOOOOOVE, love, love this book. The emotion, the trauma, and the drama make it such a fun read aloud. The more over the top I am, the more the kids love the book.

We finished off storytime by making our names with block letters and markers, most boring "art" project ever, but it got each of the kids names on the wall. Having their names on the wall gives them a sense of ownership and belonging that I like to foster at storytime.

Sep 25, 2013

Most Rewarding Job EVER!

Best moment of the week (okay, probably month)! I was walking by the desk yesterday and I noticed a little boy from my Monday Storytime putting movies in the drop box. Monday had been his, and his dad's, first time at the library EVER! A little collaboration with the school got them in the door. Monday morning they did not have time to sign up for a library card, and on Wednesday, they were returning some movies they had checked out. So doing the math, they came back once to get the library card and then came back a THIRD time to return them and look for more stuff to get. While they were here, I could hear the dad talking to the little guy as they spent time together in the children's area. AWESOME!!!

Sep 19, 2013

1000 Books is Here!

Clip Art is by ReviDevi.
I've been dreaming and scheming about this program ever since I heard Marge Loch-Wouters give a presentation for a 2012 Summer Reading Workshop in which she mentioned the 1000 Books Programs she has been involved with.

We had a kick-off party with Clifford as the drop in guest. I read a Clifford Book, Clifford stopped in for some pictures, then he left for a "nap" so the kids could have some milk and cookies. While the kids were snacking, I took the opportunity to talk to the parents about the 1000 Books Program and the importance of early-literacy activities for young children. Clifford came back after his "nap" and walked around the library and took some pictures with the kids. More than ten families attended and I had 12 kids signed up by the end of the morning! 
When the kids signed up, they received cute little bags provided by our Friends of the Library with our logo on them. In the bags are little folders with a log sheet and instructions for how to participate.
The theme for our program is Build Your Reader or Building Tomorrow's Readers and uses construction vehicles and the log uses construction cones to keep track of books. The instructions are on one side of the page, the cones are on the other side of the page (front and back).
This also ties in nicely with our Picture Books Place arrangement of our picture books. After each 100 books read, the child will be able to put a window sticker on the building of their hundred books on our Wall of Fame.
The address on the building corresponds with the number of books read. When the child reaches 1000 books, they get to put a star with their name on it on the boulevard below the buildings!
As part of our Building Tomorrow's Readers, I have added an early literacy activity station to the children's area of the library. This week/month the activity is making cookies with stickers in relation to the Milk and Cookie launch party with Clifford.
After this week's preschool and toddler storytime sessions, we are up to 24 registered kiddos!

Sep 14, 2013


Cookies on the table, milk in the fridge, rug out for a story, book propped up on my chair, sign up sheets ready to go, bags packed and ready for distribution, activity for parents and child out on the table, check, check, check. Our guest of honor. . . wait, WHERE THE HELL IS CLIFFORD?????

All I can hear is the clock, as I sit here waiting for the FED EX delivery of the Clifford costume that needs to be here in an hour, that was sent over-night due to a mix up at the costume supply place. Sweating much? Our 1000 Books Before Kindergarten Kick Off starts in a little over an hour and I am pumped up for our program to begin, but Yikes! What is the worse that could happen. . . Clifford missed his plane.

Back up plan? Yeah. . . It's not nearly as impressive, but I have a Clifford hand puppet....

Fed Ex, you have one more hour, then I'm sending the disappointed kiddos your way.

Aug 22, 2013

Graph Nerd and the Easy Reader's Non-Fiction Section

There was a question on one of the list serves today about separating non-fiction Easy Readers into their own section, so of course I had to make a graph to show how well it worked at my library!

When I started at my library the Easy Readers non-fiction books were in with the fiction Easy Readers and the general children's Non-Fiction books. I separated them out, we have 50, and now they have their very own shelf at the beginning of our Easy Reader shelves. 

The year before I separated them, the books went out 19 times. I separated them in December of 2011. Since then, they went out 121 times in 2012, and 112 times so far this year!  So in the end, I would recommend separating them out. Why does that make them circ more? I have no idea. I can make guesses as to why. . . the main reason I would have to say is that they are easier to find. If one is looking for easy reader non-fiction they do not have to skim the shelves of the easy readers AND non-fiction, or they do not have to enter a complex search string into our OPAC. 

Aug 12, 2013

Let Down Your Hair

I had some extra yarn laying around,
 so I made up a Rapunzel braid for my fractured fairy tales display.

Aug 5, 2013

Summer Reading is Over!

Six weeks of summer reading has me BURNT OUT! Here's the run down:

Rubber Ducky Club (Birth through 2 years)
  • Monthly literacy activities (this is a VERY passive program). The first month they get a duck, and the second month they get a free book.
Kid's Program (3 years through 5th grade)
  • Opening day carnival (First Monday).
  • Weekly Reading logs (kids have to read 15 minutes on four different days) with prizes and raffle tickets. Week six prize is a free book.
  • Weekly in house activity (for raffle ticket).
  • Weekly coloring sheet (for raffle ticket).
  • Closing day party (Last Friday)
BRAND NEW Tween2Teen Program (6th through 12th grades)
  • They get one log with 8 hours broken up into 15 minute chunks. After they read 8 hours they get a free book to keep, 5 raffle tickets and a bonus sheet with 5 more hours broken up into 15 minute chunks (for extra raffle tickets). 
  • They can also write a "Book Blurb" for bonus raffle tickets which we hang on the shelves near the books' shelf locations (we had 63 on our shelves!).
  • We had a 'Til Midnight Movie Marathon for them on the last Friday.
Mondays: Toddler Storytime, then Movie Matinee
Tuesdays: Preschool Storytime
Wednesdays: School Age Explorers
Thursdays: Junior Gardeners

The great news is that numbers have excelled expectations tremendously. The bad news is that they love it so much they want more weeks next year. I'm not sure I could handle one more week!

Jul 24, 2013

Beary Toddleriffic

Sooo. Toddler storytime. Not like baby storytime and not like preschool storytime.
Here's the routine:
Welcome song using each child's name. To the tune of Fly's in the Buttermilk.

Name will you stand up and let us see your smile? 
We're so glad you're here today won't you stay awhile. 

I did not make this up, but can't remember where I found it. It is a great way to gauge how the kiddos are feeling that day. Grumpy, shy or clingy? then I will probably leave them alone. Stand right up and grin then they are ready to go.

Can You Growl Like a Bear? John Butler. Read it and the kids did what the animals did.

Brown Bear, Brown Bear  Eric Carle. Today I had the book and the flannel pieces for them to put up on the flannel board. I read the book, each child gets to put up a flannel. As we are waiting for each animal to be placed on the board, we made the animal noises together.

The Bear Went Over the Mountain with bear puppet substituting the children's names after the first go round. The bear crawls all over them if they want him to and I sing.. .

The bear went over Eric, the bear went over Eric, the bear went over Eric to see what he could see.

We did Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear Turn Around

Dear Zoo: A Lift the Flap Book Rod Campbell was the finisher. Sometimes I let the kiddos lift the flaps, but we had 10! kiddos so I lifted the flaps and let them shout out what animal was behind the flap.

Then we have a brief playtime. Spongy blocks, bubble machine, board books, bear puppet and wash clothes (because one of the kiddos saw them and wanted to use them like we had in a previous program).

We sing the Barney Clean Up Song because everybody knows it. We clean up all the toys.

Then we close with This is the Way We Say Goodbye. . .

This is the way our hands say good bye, clap, clap, clap, clap, clap, clap.
This is the way our hands say good bye, clap, clap, clap, clap, clap. 

We do knees tap, feet stomp, arms flap, nose beeps. . . what ever I can think of.
We finish with:

This is the way we wave good bye, wave good bye, wave good bye.
This is the way we wave goodbye, goodbye until next time! 

Then I get high fives as they head out the door!

Jul 19, 2013

Mud Party!

Mud Puddle- Robert Munsch. I haven't done a Munsch at storytime, and was worried about the lengthy text. It was rhythmic and repeating which kept the kids involved and they really seemed to enjoy it.

This is the Way we Wash our. . .

I bought some cheapo wash clothes at Walmart (I used them for baby storytimes too) and had my daughters help tie dye them. We sang this is the way we wash our arms, wash our arms, wash our arms. . .etc. Then I had the kids shout out the parts they wanted to wash. .  oddly enough there was no butt washing.

Harry the Dirty Dog – Gene Zion. Oh that Harry, the kids were a little worried that all would be lost. 

Pigs in the Mud in the Middle of the Rud  Lynn Plourde. This wasn't the greatest and the kids weren't understanding that rud meant road. . . 

We did my version of Old MacDonald that goes The Pigs on the Farm (Tune of Wheels on the Bus) with flannel pieces. More singing animals noises and less E-I-E-I-O-ing. This would make a great book.

Ten Dirty Pigs Carol Roth. When read one way the pigs are dirty and get clean. Half way through you close the book flip it backwards and read it and the pigs are clean and they get dirty. This book could go on forever. I asked the kids if they wanted to read about the dirty pigs again and it was a negative.


Making Mud: I had four disposable roasting pans. I filled them with dirt, let the kids add water with styrofoam cups until they had the mud how they wanted it and they dug into the mud! I added some spoons for stirring and some bugs for color. The parents LOVED this it was a great sensory experience (and it wasn't at their house). I had warned them ahead of time that it was going to be messy. . . and I delivered!